Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is NBC ruining the Olympics with tape delay?

Television is a money game. I get that.

Still, what NBC is doing with the summer Olympics is ridiculous.

What am I talking about?

The tape delay, of course.

It was bad enough that I had already seen all of the photos from the Opening Ceremony come across the wire before NBC even started broadcasting the ceremony. I could live with that, though.

The Opening Ceremony is pomp and spectacle, after all.

It’s an entirely different thing for the actual events to be broadcast on a tape delay.

There’s a five-hour delay between London and here. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not too bad.

I don’t see why NBC can’t show all of the events live.

Yesterday, I saw several of my Facebook friends complaining about being “spoiled” on Olympic events.

That’s an interesting concept – especially because I’m in the news business.

From our perspective, we want to get the news up as fast as possible.

One of my friends, however, was waiting for the NBC broadcast that night. She didn’t want to know that Ryan Lochte had won the first gold medal for the U.S. – or that Michael Phelps might be living up to that lazy rap he’s been getting the past few years.

She asked other people on Facebook not to put up Olympic spoilers.

Now, I can see having a moratorium on television spoilers – although anything more than a couple of days is unacceptable.

Sports is different.

When something happens in a sporting event – you want to talk about it when it happens. I mean, if the U.S. basketball team gets knocked out early I’m not going to wait until 9 p.m. to make fun of them.

The thing is, I understand where she’s coming from, too.

If you spoil a television show, there still might be some enjoyment that can be garnered from viewing it.

If you spoil a sporting event, though? I mean are you going to get any enjoyment watching a swimming event if you’re a Phelps fan and you know he’s going to lose?

I know not everyone is tied into the news like I am – I have a constant AP ticker going on my desktop – but general fans tuning into ESPN are going to be spoiled, too.

So, what’s the solution?

Personally, I think NBC should be showing the events live. If they want to bring in primetime viewership they can run a highlights show at night. Casual viewers will still tune into that. Sports fans want their fix live, though.

I think, by trying to dictate what people see and when they see it, they’re running the risk of alienating their viewership. Personally, I’m going to tune into the Canadian channel. At least their coverage is live.

What do you think? Is NBC’s tape delay going to ruin the Olympics for you?


Blogger krazyrabbit said...

Not only is the tape delay leading to spoilers for most of the events, the NBC Olympics coverage is the absolute worst I’ve ever seen. The announcers are annoying, spouting political opinions and endlessly talking, talking, talking. I read an article that informed me that during the opening ceremonies we got to see the interview with Michael Phelps instead of the dance theme of mortality. Really? How shallow does NBC think we Americans are?

July 29, 2012 at 8:06 PM 

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